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ISM Code specialist Phil Anderson, FNI is urging the shipping industry to involve itself in the review of the ISM Code which will take place at IMO.

Though a full review of the ISM Code is on the agenda of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee meeting scheduled for the end of this month, Anderson understands the review will be undertaken over a period and will not be concluded at the November meeting.
«Such an opportunity to amend the Code will not arise very often. I would urge everyone in the industry to give careful thought to this and consider submitting ideas and suggestions for possible amendment to your flag state administration or an NGO with which you may be associated, like the International Chamber of Shipping, BIMCO, IACS, IFSMA, or write directly to the IMO,» urges Anderson.
The former P&I loss prevention guru now leads a team of ISM experts at ConsultISM Ltd providing specialised service to the industry's lawyers, insurers, ship operating companies and the courts. Commenting in ConsultISM's newsletter 'Reportism' Anderson sets out his own wish list of issues he believes need addressing and dealing with in any review of the ISM Code.
These are:

  • Introduce a structured training programme and examination / qualification for Designated Persons.

  • Provide a clearer definition of the role and responsibilities of the DP.

  • Mandate formal requirement for risk assessment methods to be adopted.

  • Provide a more detailed authoritative 'commentary' on the Code and its requirements — possibly a rewrite /expansion of the ICS/ ISF Guidelines.

Anderson says «this would assist with international, and legal, interpretation of the requirements». He also seeks guidelines on the extent of paperwork actually required to be given within the commentary.
Provide a clearer explanation / definition of what is intended by 'taking account of industry guidelines' in Section
Establish guidelines for training of seafarers (possibly through STCW revision) and shore management on safety management and ISM related issues.
Set out more detailed guidelines on internal auditing procedures and frequency.
Anderson, whose main line of work is as a consultant and expert on ISM related matters, notes a detailed report commissioned by IMO's secretary general and presented to the 81st IMO Maritime Safety Committee meeting — dealing with 'The Impact of the ISM Code and its Effectiveness in the Enhancement of Safety of Life at Sea and Protection of the Marine Environment' contained a whole raft of suggestions and conclusions which should provide much food for thought when reviewing the Code.
Anderson, wonders how the shipping industry, ship operators, seafarers and others with a vested interest afford to miss this important opportunity?
(NEWSFRONT - 3 November 2006 Vol. 7 / No. 41)

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